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Web content filtering is a web security measure that safeguards networks and users against web-based threats, inappropriate internet content and distracting websites. It prevents users from accessing malicious websites and undesirable content on internet that can pose a threat to organizations.
Endpoint management solutions such as Hexnode UEM offers web content filtering feature to admins. Admins can control the content displayed on browsers of managed devices by blacklisting or whitelisting URLs based on needs of the business. Hexnode provides web content filtering for devices running on Android, iOS and MacOS. This can be done by deploying custom policies to enrolled devices. Admins have to list URLs of websites that needs to be blacklisted or whitelisted in the policy.
Blacklisting filter is a threat-centric method used to block unwanted entities. The process of blacklisting websites involves the creation of a list containing all URLs that might pose threat to network either in the form of malware attacks or simply by hampering productivity. Users can access all websites except those that are blacklisted. Whitelisting filter, on the other hand, is more of a trust centric approach and is considered to be more secure. It ensures that users only have access to sites that their organization has approved. The process of whitelisting involves creation of a list of all trusted URLs that can be accessed.
Both blacklisting and whitelisting methods come with its pros and cons. The benefit of Blacklisting method is its simplicity, admins can block only the known malicious websites. Users can access all the necessary apps without any barriers. It has a major drawback as there are thousands of malwares produced every day. It becomes difficult for IT admins to keep an updated list of malicious websites.
Whitelisting methods only allows a limited number of trusted websites and restricts all other websites; This may result in user’s inability to access essential sites and put various critical tasks on halt.